How long will Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine certificate program last?
TORONTO -- The scientific director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table believes the province’s proof-of-vaccination system could be lifted in the spring of 2022, assuming individuals continue to follow public health measures, get the shot and there are no further mutations of the Delta variant.
Dr. Peter Jüni told CTV News Toronto’s Life Unmasked team that if things go well, he anticipates the certificates could be lifted by March or April.
“This is one of the most important characteristics of such a vaccine certificate program, it is temporary. Period. This is not a tokenism for something that should become permanent,” he said.
“If we only have to deal with Delta, it's relatively likely that you know, March or April 2022, we will start to move into endemicity, we can open more, we can let go with the certificates.”
However, Jüni added that this timeline is dependent on everyone continuing to follow public health measures and getting vaccinated. It will also be impacted by how soon children under the age of 12 can get the vaccine and whether or not new variants of COVID-19 emerge that may be more contagious or resistant to the shot.
Life Unmasked, CTV News Toronto’s podcast about life after the pandemic, will air the full interview with Juni tomorrow. In the interview, he explains why the vaccine certificate program is necessary, what some of the challenges may be and why he believes we may not need it after the spring.
Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine certificate program, which launched Wednesday morning, prohibits those who have not been fully vaccinated from accessing certain indoor non-essential services such as restaurants, gyms or event venues. Patrons wanting to visit one of these establishments will have to show proof that they have received both doses of a vaccine.
Premier Doug Ford insisted yet again on Wednesday that the program was temporary, but offered no indication as to when it would be lifted.
"The criteria is going to be based again from the chief medical officer and the science table," he said. "I was reluctant because I just don't believe in government dictating to people how to live their lives or their businesses. Saying that, this is a special circumstance."
"I don't want to do it a day longer than we have to, so I can't give you the exact date...but hopefully it will be sooner than later."
Life Unmasked airs first on the iHeart app every Thursday morning before becoming available on other streaming platforms.